Noise Works – What has happened to your attention span?

I am someone who is passionately interested in people and what makes them tick. I guess you would call me the intuitive receiving type, I like to get a feel for things and lately I’ve been getting a strange feeling about the direction we as the “Triathlon Tribe”’ are heading in.
Have you noticed how much faster things are getting? The noise is getting louder and louder, my words as a coach are getting lost in the flight for another data upload or the next tweet.
What If I told you that the average person now has an attention span that is shorter than a goldfish? Research is proving it-

Goldfish Experiment

Now technology is doing a lot for us, there’s no doubt but you have to question at what cost to our ability to focus and stay present with what we are doing. As a coach I think that there is a much higher degree of analysis and preoccupation with measuring every conceivable thing and I do actually worry that we are losing touch with the key elements of what makes us an athlete and a human being.
That element is our innate ability to feel and sense. It is our god given gift to be able to sense subtle changes in our bodies if we are connected to it. We’ve all read the studies that are about the power of visualisation and what that can do for sports performances. A visualisation that involves picturing your event through sensing what it feels like can have an amazing effect on the outcome simply because the mind has prompted the body on what it “feels like” that is something that a gauge cannot do or in fact even come close to.
I’ve been coaching for a long time, I find many younger athletes these days are more interested in their Strava stats than they are in sensing what they need from a performance stand point and I think this is going to be a big problem moving forward simply because we are going to have a harder and harder time getting athletes to focus. I feel one of the big growth areas for athletes is a simple dose of mindfulness. How do I connect to my body? What am I sensing? Is pain really pain or is it a thought? What feedback am I getting from my body?
How much success / failure is attributed to the mental game, different problems ?
1. Over arousal
2. Chokers
3. Anxiety
4. Fear
5. CBF (under arousal)
6. Judgement of pain etc.
7. Self- seeding
8. Doubt
9. Self- worth
10. The big one ”Presence in the moment”
These issues above are the tip of the iceberg and the dynamic of it is getting bigger and bigger with each passing day, what speed am I running? What power band am I riding in? What’s my heart rate? What’s my TSS?
Don’t get me wrong, it’s all great information but at what cost to feel and sensing. What about desire? going with your gut instincts? taking a risk? connecting to your power through this amazing organism that can feel and sense.
I’ve watched more than a few athletes now follow their FTP percentages into oblivion and I think that’s a real shame that people would entrust an entire prep to that space and not use their own sense of what is happening.
There is a massive industry out there now driving this movement because there is and always has been money = disconnection. Uncertainty is the mother of the economy and the end result is disconnection.
Efficiency of movement is something that is learnt through sensing. Great technique and pure flow of movement can’t be learnt through bashing while looking at a screen. Certainly those screens enhance that feedback but only if you are first connected to the machine that has no equal –YOU!

Cheers,
Grant.

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